Soon, JBS Brazil may no longer be Brazilian. And Joesley Batista’s plea deal has everything to do with that transition. As the JBS owner moves to New York, he plans to bring his company with him.
By ratting out Temer’s involvement in the corruption scheme, Batista could ensure his company’s passport to the U.S. Indeed, he never would have made it in unless his company was in the clear with the U.S. Department of Justice.
In fact, the majority of JBS’s operations are already abroad. About 80 percent, to be exact. In the U.S. alone, JBS holds 56 meat-processing factories and nearly half of its global sales. Moreover, last December the group approved an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. This process will ultimately transform the Brazilian company into JBS Foods International. Its headquarters in the Netherlands will manage the international business of food companies JBS and Seara.
JBS tried to move its headquarters to Ireland last year, but the BNDES did not approve, considering the country a fiscal paradise.
One move ahead
In any case, the JBS brothers acted fast in order to cooperate with the corruption investigation. Indeed, they saw how badly the investigations took down the Odebrecht family’s business and reputation. No sir, they won’t be going down in the same fashion.
The company turned in a document to the Attorney General detailing Temer and other prominent politicians’ involvement in a kickback scheme. Turns out Temer had been asking for bribes since as early as 2010. Batista claims to have met with Temer at least 20 times over the years, discussing millions in bribes at a time. But now that a wave of justice has fallen upon Brazil’s political and business elite, Batista made moves to save his own company – and fast.
The price to pay? Throwing Brazil into economic, political, and financial turmoil. With impeachment on the mind, who knows what might happen next for Temer or for the country. But soon enough JBS will be long gone, and their business as healthy as ever. After all, corruption is corruption, right?